Today, the 2011 NBA Finals will commence, as the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat will vie to become NBA Champions. Although the vast majority of the NBA's annual championship series centers around a 2006 Finals rematch, potential historic implications will be at stake for Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki.
Nowitzki would not only hoist his first Larry O'Brien Trophy with a series victory, he would also be close to clinching a Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement when he departs from the NBA. Nowitzki is in the midst of an historic postseason in which he has delivered his usual excellent performances.
The exception in Nowitzki's 28.4 PPG and 7.5 RPG playoffs statistics, is that the vast majority of players, coaches, media and fans alike have begun to take notice of the seven-footer's greatness.
Although Nowitzki will only boast one NBA Championship if he wins the 2011 edition, his consistent performances season after season as well as his importance to the Mavericks franchise, should be just enough to earn Nowitzki a Hall of Fame induction whenever the Big German decides to call it an illustrious career.
Speaking of Nowitzki's German descent, although the following achievement is not officially recognized by the NBA, the 12-year veteran will certainly gain a bevy of ground on the title of best international NBA player of all time.
Who is the better NBA player?
The aforementioned title is undoubtedly owned by Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon, who led the team to two NBA championships throughout his 18-season career.
However, if Nowitzki were to win a championship this season, he would add an NBA title to his already distinguished resume which includes being the Mavericks' all-time leading scorer, eight All-Star appearances, one Most Valuable Player Award and two NBA Finals appearances including this season.
No. 41, as I mentioned earlier in the piece, would gain a plethora of ground towards reaching the accomplishment if he were to become an NBA Champion this season. However, I believe he would need one or two more championships to officially supplant Olajuwon as the greatest international NBA player in league history.
Regarding the NBA Finals, I believe that the Mavericks will defeat a much-hyped Heat team in seven tightly contested games. The Dallas bench, specifically Jason Terry, Jose Juan Barea and Peja Stojakovic, as well as the excellent interior defense of Tyson Chandler will be too much for Miami and the Dallas Mavericks will complete the monumental upset and become the 2011 NBA Champions.